Alexis Sánchez can only join Manchester United via a swap deal for Mkhitaryan, suggests Mino Raiola

Mino Raiola, the agent of Mkhitaryan, has revealed that Mkhitaryan holds the key to Sánchez's proposed move to Manchester United.

Alexis Sánchez can only join Manchester United via a swap deal for Mkhitaryan, suggests Mino Raiola
Alexis Sanchez in action for Arsenal | Photo via Getty Images / Catherine Ivill

Mino Raiola has revealed that Alexis Sánchez's move to Manchester United from Arsenal depends on whether Henrikh Mkhitaryan can agree on terms with the Gunners.

Over the past week, reports have suggested that Manchester United made an approach to the Arsenal forward in what could be one of the biggest transfers of the winter window after Manchester City, who seemed as sure as can be of claiming the signature of the Chile international, were said to have left the race.

Although United boss José Mourinho was sceptical of stating the clubs transfer policy, the Portuguese wasn't afraid of revealing his thoughts of Sanchez, who he described as a "phenomenal player."

Raiola reveals the progress in the deal

Mino Raiola, the agent of Henrikh Mkhitaryan (who also represents Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic), was quoted to have said he suggested the transfer of "Sanchez to Old Trafford" in correspondence to "Mkhitaryan to Arsenal" more than six weeks ago:

"Sanchez is part of Mkhitaryan's deal. Not the other way around. Without him [Mkhitaryan], Sanchez simply cannot go to United."

"Mkhi's problems at Man Utd are purely related to playing football. He has no problem with the manager. It is not personal, and he has two and a half years left on his contract. He doesn't have to leave."

Raiola continued by saying that the chances of his client leaving agreeing on a move to London are "at this moment low, but life is dynamic."

"This is a great deal for Arsenal. They need better, younger players and they have to invest. So it's up to Arsenal to put a deal in place and right now a deal is a long way off," he continued.

Mkhitaryan's 2017/18 in numbers

The Armenian began the season showing the promising form, indicating initially why the Red Devils had brought him form Borussia Dortmund last summer.

Previously, in the last campaign, Mkhitaryan wasn't often a feature in the Premier League but was a key player in the Europa League success, even grabbing a goal in the final against Ajax. He had his moments in the domestic matches, such as the only goal in the win against Tottenham at Old Trafford as well as the remarkable 'scorpion kick' goal in the 3-0 triumph over Sunderland late in 2016.

During the current campaign though, Mkhitaryan has featured in 15 of the 23 Premier League contests, 4 of the 6 in the Champions League and a single appearance in each of the domestic cups.

In Europe, having featured in the majority of the group stage fixtures, Mkhitaryan sole goal came against CSKA Moscow, whereas there was no significant influence in either of his League Cup or FA Cup games.

His largest contributions are within the Premier League, where Mkhitaryan got a goal against Everton in a 4-0 win and 5 assists. Although, these came in the early games of the season, with the 5 assists registered to his name occurring in the opening two 4-0 wins over West Ham and Swansea.

These contributions came in the number 10 role behind Lukaku, where the Armenian has averaged 73 touches per match. It's clearly his best role on the side, having featured on either wing in the last campaign. To further emphasise how Mkhitaryan is suited to playing centrally for United, in a side with a striker who thrives on a good delivery into the box, Mkhitaryan simply hasn't been able to come up with the goods, having a cross accuracy of 13%.

The forward posseses the ability to come to light during a game, but this is something we haven't seen often enough since he arrived. Hence, Jose Mourinho is reluctant to feature him in many games as of late, and his pending transfer to Arsenal shows that he is no longer considered an important asset by his manager.